I knew it would bite them in the butt sooner or later. I read this headline on Yahoo News, “Skewed Birthrate To Leave 24 Million Men Single” and smiled wryly. No, I’m not happy that Chinese men will find difficulty marrying and insuring that their name will live on. But what do you expect? Especially where sex-specific abortions are condoned. Now I’m not going to turn this into an abortion rights debate. And please, you don’t either. Let’s look at the bigger picture here.
My sister, a more active feminist than I, will often bring up injustices that women suffer around the world. I’d listen politely. I’d nod and smile (or frown if the conversation warranted it.) But as soon as the conversation was over I’d go make dinner, tie a shoe, read a story to my kids or watch my favorite show. I don’t get involved or even educate myself. How could lil’ ol’ me make a difference?
The only time sex specific births made an impact on me was when I was in the throes of adoption. Oooooo, I’d think, chances are we’ll get a girl, or another girl, as the case may be. Someone to get girly with! What fun! And then a flash of concern would enter my mind and I’d think, for a few minutes or two, how horrible it must be to be unwanted in your own country, your own family. How terrible little girls are treated in countries that favor little boys. I might even stop to think where those countries might be: China, Korea, India, Iran. But those are sad thoughts and Pollyanna Jane doesn’t tolerate sad thoughts for very long.
But maybe I should have tolerated them. Maybe I should have nurtured them and seen where they may have taken me.
The article further states that men in poorer areas will probably have the most difficulty finding mates. That this difficulty has already led to abductions, trafficking, illegal marriages and prostitution. That a wider age gap between couples will be common. (I’m thinking forced marriages – similar to those in polygamist cults) How will this affect the young women of this country? What will be the fall-out?
China implemented its “one child” policy back in 1979. When ultrasound technology became more widely available in the 80’s, sex selection became more prevalent. A recent Chinese study determined that this ” policy has averted 400 million births.” Averted. Interesting word. To prevent. Turn away. Avoid.
Avoiding having 400 million sweet, adorable little daughters. I understand the population problem over there. I do. I don’t have another answer. I’m just greatly saddened that this policy, technology, and family choices have created such a problem.
A problem that only makes it worse for the women already there.
All over again.
Check in tomorrow, for the inaugural guest post during Won’t You Be My Neighbor Fridays!